2015 Rides – Oct Ride 3 – Day 2

Everton to Corowa via Beechworth, Mt Pilot NP and Chiltern

Monday October 19, 2015, 52 miles (84 km) – Total so far: 506 miles (814 km)

Thankfully, there are no sulphur-crested cockatoos hanging about. There is no raucous screeching in the trees. First light brings gentle conversations, warbles and calls from less obnoxious birds. I pack quickly to the sounds of life beginning to stir – as if I was on tour and actually had a routine. None of the grey nomads has yet stirred, however. Read more

2015 Rides – Oct Ride 4 – Day 1

Corowa to Wangaratta via Springhurst

Saturday October 24, 2015, 41 miles (66 km) – Total so far: 547 miles (880 km)

The nearest movie theatre to the crappy little town where I’m living is about 40 miles away. I want to see the movie “The Martian”. I could drive. Or I could ride there instead. If I ride, on the return, I could check out more of the dirt roads in the national park where we had so much fun last weekend. Okay, sounds like a plan. Read more

2015 Rides – Oct Ride 4 – Day 2

Wangaratta to Corowa via the Barambogie Range

Sunday October 25, 2015, 48 miles (78 km) – Total so far: 595 miles (958 km)

As spring slides into summer… No, wait. We never had a spring this year. It went straight from winter to summer. Let’s try this: the landscape is drying out. The vibrancy is beginning to dull. The bright green has gone olive or brown. The plant life is beginning to draw back to its endurance phase for summer – which, in this part of Australia, lasts for about half of the year. Read more

2015 Rides – Nov Ride 1 – Day 1

Jindera to Pleasant Hills via Henty

Monday November 2, 2015, 55 miles (89 km) – Total so far: 650 miles (1,047 km)

Much-needed rain comes in heavy downpours and storms on Saturday and Sunday. So where to go on Monday and Tuesday? I’m avoiding Victoria. It is Melbourne Cup Weekend. On Tuesday, the ‘race that stops the nation’ gives the state of Victoria a public holiday for the equivalent of the Kentucky Derby. The kiddos have Monday and Tuesday off school. So many Victorians will be taking a very long weekend to go camping or travelling. Read more

2015 Rides – Nov Ride 1 – Day 2

Pleasant Hills to Jindera via Walla Walla

Tuesday November 3, 2015, 40 miles (64 km) – Total so far: 690 miles (1,111 km)

The dew drips onto the grass from the tent fly. The inside condensation drips onto the main tent body. The humid air is still, but definitely not silent. The parrot family is greeting the morning with its normal raucous screeching.

The sun makes its way up over the horizon and then crests the toilet block. I awake while the tent is still in shade. I’ve slept hard and sound; somehow I concocted the perfect pillow out of my spare clothing and had no lumps under my sleeping pad. It is rare to get it perfect! Read more

2015 Rides – Nov Ride 2 – Day 1

Corowa to Wangaratta – Express Route

Sunday November 8, 2015, 38 miles (61 km) – Total so far: 728 miles (1,172 km)

I have grand plans. I am going to ride the two ‘gaps’ in the Warby Range on Sunday and then return home via the Woolshed Valley on Monday. There will be some new roads among all of that and some nice scenery. I also have grand plans to get on the road at 6am, so that I’m relaxing in a bush campsite by mid-afternoon when it hits the mid-80sF.

But when my alarm goes off at 5.30am, all the grand plans get axed. I haven’t slept well for days. My hayfever is so bad this morning, I feel completely rotten. Pounding headache, a very sore throat and a completely stuffy nose. Read more

2015 Rides – Nov Ride 2 – Day 2

Wangaratta to Corowa via frontage roads to Chiltern

Monday November 9, 2015, 47 miles (76 km) – Total so far: 775 miles (1,248 km)

I don’t feel quite as bad this morning, but I still don’t have much motivation. I guess we all have our off days. So I decide to just head home via the freeway frontage roads and Chiltern.

The headwind is pretty ferocious between the Carra…mungee Road and Springhurst. I am pushing it pretty hard to do 9 mph. But, luckily, there is very little traffic on the frontage roads (a couple cars per hour), so I pop in my headphones, turn up the music, and this makes things better. At least in my head. The wind lessens a bit after Springhurst. Read more

2015 Rides – Nov Ride 3 – Day 1

Corowa to Chiltern via Woolshed Valley and a bunch more of Chiltern-Mt Pilot NP

Sunday November 15, 2015, 59 miles (95 km) – Total so far: 834 miles (1,343 km)

I’m feeling fruity. Some of my friends might suggest I’ve always been a bit fruity. Or maybe a bit of a nutcase. Riding a bike over hill and dale just for the fun of it probably confirms suspicions in their minds.

However, this is a different sort of fruity. I have a bunch of fruit in my fridge that needs to be eaten, and the thought of having fresh cut fruit on the road sounds like a treat. Since cut fruit doesn’t travel well, I normally only eat it on rest days on tour.

So I cut up a couple pounds of fruit and double-bag it. I learned my lessons early in life when backpacking about not double-bagging liquid-y things! Read more

2015 Rides – Nov Ride 3 – Day 2

Chiltern to Corowa via bush tracks outside of Chiltern

Monday November 16, 2015, 33 miles (53 km) – Total so far: 867 miles (1,396 km)

My gamble last night has paid off. I pitched the tent under the overhanging branches of a tree. My hope was for morning shade and less dew on the tent. The gamble was the possibility of needing to clean bird shit off the tent this morning. But alas, there is no morning excrement-cleaning duties, and even though there is plenty of dew on the grass, there is none on the tent. Read more

2015 Rides – Nov Ride 4 – Day 1

Jindera to Kurrajong Campsite via Wymah Ferry

Saturday November 21, 2015, 51 miles (82 km) – Total so far: 918 miles (1,478 km)

Familiarity breeds contempt, they say. Some people may counter that the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know. I generally prefer novelty and get bored quickly with the same-old, same-old. This is why I find it hard to ride the same roads over and over again.

But today our ride is all on familiar roads, and I don’t mind. I love these roads and have ridden them many times. The scenery is pleasant, the road gently undulates, and there is little traffic outside of school holiday periods and weekends. Read more